Thursday, December 31, 2015

Turning the Page...

Hello, and Happy New Year's Eve!

I'll post in more detail tomorrow, but this evening I'm popping in to share the last piece of the year...

I've revisited a painting I did a while back, but with a rectangular composition (which I hope will adorn next year's Christmas cards!)

Painted in acrylics on an 8" x 10" deep gallery canvas (edges are a complimentary cardinal red) and protected by a clear, acrylic varnish, this original painting is available for $225, with US shipping included.

Please email me at to purchase. UPDATE ~ SOLD

Thanks for visiting, and I'll be back tomorrow with a proper New Year's post (cross my heart, lol)....

See you in 2016!

♥ Carolee

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ch ch ch ch ch ch Changes!

Hello, all!

How was your Christmas? (or whatever you celebrate?)

Ours was lovely, if a bit scaled back this year given some ongoing health challenges. In fact, scaling back has become a bit of a theme around here, as we've begun passing on many of the Christmas decorations to our daughter, cutting back on the annual baking, shopping wrapping, and so on.

The Christmas feast was still kept though, thanks to daughter Courtney, who handled all the prep, and did a spectacular job with the roast and Yorkshire pudding....

 Looks yummy, yes?

Several friends joined us as well, and it was an altogether lovely evening.

I even managed to take two whole days off, which has left me feeling completely spoiled. ;)

But now...NOW it's back to work! Commissions await, as do several notebooks of sketches and ideas, and even some new art supplies (yay!)

But even in the midst of all this creating, I'm feeling the need to scale back - to simplify ("SIMPLIFY" - my word for 2016.)

What that means in practical terms, is some pretty major cleaning and purging around the house as we consider a move to smaller, more manageable quarters. And it means some streamlining in the work department as well....

I will be completing those commissions which have already been accepted, but will be drastically reducing the number of commissions accepted in the New Year. This includes the personalized Halloween and Christmas ornaments (of which I took far too many orders this year, leading to some very long hours in the midst of holiday prep). So I'm practicing my most polite, but firm "no". ;)

I'm also eliminating at least one looming deadline. As many of you know, I've been a regular participant in the PFATT Marketplace for several years, and the management of the site has been incredibly kind in making allowances for missed deadlines due to personal issues like my husband's hospitalizations. But I've felt for some time that my work is no longer a good fit with the overall style of the group (it is, after all, a "primitive" site, and my work is not), so January feels like a good time to let it go. :)  My work will continue to be displayed on Facebook, in my Etsy Shop, and once a month (9PM on the last day of the month) in the EHAG Emporium.

So yeah....some changes in 2016, but ones I think will lead to a decrease in deadline induced panic, and an increase in CrEaTiViTy - always a good thing!

Wishing you love and light as we move into the New Year, and wishing you all good things with whatever changes 2016 holds!!

* Note - the "simplify" graphic is from a meme, and not my work.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

And Now for Something Completely Different....

Holiday cards!

This is something I've been meaning to do for YEARS now, and I finally pulled it together (yay me, hehe!)  

The best part is that each card is like a mini gift - a 4" x 6" print of my work, affixed to a 5" x 7" card, with each one hand signed and suitable for framing. Envelopes are also included.

There are two designs available, in sets of ten cards each. The first is "Yuletide Tea", featuring an adorable little Maine Coon cat and her mousie friends. (Prints of this one are also available on Etsy)....

The second is "God Jul", featuring two charming little Tomten, stopping for a cuppa (and a bit of knitting) on their way home with the Christmas tree.... 

I've already shared these on Facebook, and they're being claimed pretty fast, so as of typing this, there are maybe half a dozen sets of each design left. If you'd like to claim one, just shoot me an email at - the prints and cards are on their way and I hope to have them all assembled this weekend, and ready to ship sometime next week. :)

Thanks for visiting, and I'll be back soon to share a few new, limited edition holiday ornaments!

♥ Carolee

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Halloween ornaments have been in progress for a few days now, with just a few up for grabs in the Etsy shop each night (as of typing this, there are three just listed)....

And holiday ornaments are being ordered fast and furious over on Facebook - so fast that I'm afraid I can only accept a very few more in time for holiday display or gift giving.

Here are a few from last year, painted from photos of your pet, with their names on the back....

So much fun to paint, and such an honor to create a lasting memory of such beloved companions. ♥

Many more are in progress too, and will be traveling with me to the Ghoultide Gathering in four short weeks (where does the time GO?!)...

If you would like to place an ornament order for the holidays, and are not on Facebook, please email me at

And now, back to work!

Thanks for taking a peek. :)

♥ Carolee
PS - I'm on Instagram now, and loving it! Please find and follow me there if you're so inclined. ;)

Friday, August 21, 2015

♪ ♫ It's the MOST Wonderful Time of the year! ♪ ♫

It's rapidly approaching!

My absolute favorite weekend of the year...

 Seeing old friends again... Meeting new ones. Sharing my work... Sharing the magic and excitement of HaLLoWeeN!! 

If you love Halloween, the Ghoultide Gathering is truly a MUST see event. Seriously. I've been participating artist since 2007, and STILL walk around the building with my jaw ON. THE. FLOOR.

All under one roof - more Halloween eye candy than you could ever imagine, just waiting to be captured and given a good home. ;)

I have a bit of *magic* up my paint-covered sleeve this year in the way of new pieces, and am especially excited about a full size piece of Halloween furniture in the works (look for sneak peeks on Instagram and Facebook soon!)

But most of all, I'm excited about meeting some of you in person. It's the absolute, hands-down best part of the show for me, and if you are attending, please DO stop by and introduce yourself!

In the meantime, it's back to work....So many pieces, so little time....

See you soon?!

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`• ~ Carolee

Monday, August 3, 2015

Autumn Blessings...

One of TWO originals available in the Etsy shop (at least as of typing this, lol)....That almost never happens! ;)

Hoping both pieces find a good home. :)

And now - on to commissions and Ghoultide Gathering pieces!

♥ Carolee

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cat Lady Birthday Musings

Yes, it's my 56th today - ack!

I'm told by my Mother that maybe 55 years ago, unlike most children, my first words were "pretty kitty"....or more accurate, something closer to "preeee keeee", but you get the idea. ;) Somewhere, there's picture of me as a very young toddler with the basket of kittens who inspired that first attempt at language.

Fifty some years later, not much has changed. I just adore them, and would have a whole houseful if I could. The Mice President (husband John) is the only thing between ME and a WHOLE LOT MORE cats roaming around here. As it is, in addition to our sweet Australian Shepherd Cosmo, we have just two kitties now - Merlin and Guinevere...

Sadly, Merlin's brother Arthur succumbed to congestive heart failure a few weeks ago, leaving a huge void in our lives, as all companions do when they cross the bridge. Here's the regal King Arthur in a not so regal, but completely adorable pose...

We miss him so. 

Cats have been on my mind (and on the work table) even more than usual, as I work a couple of magical Wheel of the Year pieces, and in particular today, as this original Innkeeper's sign becomes available on Etsy. I don't think there's anything more beautiful or haunting than a cat's eyes, and I so love painting them....

I hope this one finds a good home. :)

Large cats have also been on my mind, as we all read in the news about the tragic death of Cecil in Zimbabwe, at the hands of an American hunter.  I'm being kind here calling him merely "hunter", and not a whole host of other names I can think of, but if I start a hunting rant here, I'm afraid I won't stop, and I do NOT want to spend my birthday in tears.

What I will do is channel all that rage and sadness into a painting of that beautiful, magnificent creature, and donate a portion of the sale to the Oxford Conservation group who followed him. I'm not sure of the details yet but off the top of my head, I'm thinking a silent auction some time in the next week or two.

In the meantime, there's lots of work calling my name, and Knit Night at The Lancaster Yarn Shop later this evening (my few hours of Zen each week)...

I'll be back very soon with new work, and a preview of Ghoultide Gathering goodies. In the meantime, I wish you all a *magical* week!

♥ Carolee

Friday, July 17, 2015

"Magic is Afoot"

Just popping in to share the latest piece, a wicked cool Black Cat footstool....

I had so much fun painting the eyes, and for a few minutes there, expected them to start blinking, hehe....

I love the tiny mouse looking up at the cat, too....

 This was truly a fun piece to paint, and one of those I'd keep if I could....but sell it I must. As of typing this, it's available in my Etsy shop, and I do hope it finds a good home.

 In the meantime, it's back to the studio for me, where commissions and many, many pieces for the Ghoultide Gathering await!

Back very soon,
♥ Carolee

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Giveaway Winner!

Sarah has won the little Alice print.

Thanks so much to everyone for the kind comments on the Mad Tea post!

I'll be back very soon with new work to share...

♥ Carolee

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole; A Mad Tea Party and a Giveaway!

Oh my ears and whiskers, how LATE it's getting....

Life has been so hectic lately, I very nearly forgot - but not being one to miss a good party (or ANYTHING *Alice* for that matter), my tea-addled brain reminded me that magic is afoot....

That's right...

It's time for Miss Vanessa Valencia's annual *MaD TeA PaRtY*...

Some of you have been coming to these parties for YEARS, but for those who are new to all this, the Mad Tea Party is an annual blog-hop; sort of a cyber tea party where we visit with friends and celebrate All Things Alice...or All Things Mad, for that matter, hehe....If you click here, it will take you to Vanessa's "Fanciful Twist" blog, and tea party (always a treat!), where you'll find a list of all those participating - soooooo many wonderful blogs to visit!

But before you go, would you like a cup of tea?

Let's take a look in Alice's tea chest to see what we have....

Do you have a favorite?

I prefer loose tea myself, and I'm thinking I'll have a cup of lemon chiffon - along with some Wonderland cookies of course...

Delicious, yes?

I must fess up though - I didn't bake these. They were a gift some months back from a wonderful art collector, and just made me smile from ear to ear!  

Oh - and speaking of art, before you run off, I have a little giveaway. It's one of my "Down the Rabbit Hole" prints, shown here. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment and include a way to contact you (blog, email, etc). Then on Wednesday evening I'll draw a number, and we'll have a winner!

Thanks ever so much for dropping by, and if you have a moment, do find me and "like" my page on Facebook as well. :)

Finally, for those who know me (friends, family, etc), I'll leave you with this thought from The Cheshire Cat:

"I'm not crazy. My reality is just different from yours."

Artful Wonderland Blessings,

♥ Carolee

Monday, June 29, 2015


Yes, I know - it's been awhile.

And just when I had resolved to be a better blogger, LIFE came along and got in the way...

Where to start?

As some of you know The Mice President (a.k.a. my husband John), has been dealing with quite a few health issues the last few years; congestive heart failure, lymphoma, and COPD to name the top three, but there have been others as well. He amazes me with both his positive attitude and his resilience - so much so that I often forget how many challenges he's facing.

A few weeks ago it was his heart, which was beating dangerously fast and resulted in a two day hospital stay and another cardioversion (where they shock the heart back into rhythm), and just a few days after that, he was back at the same hospital with severe breathing problems. His COPD is very advanced now, and with each hospitalization, we're learning to cope with a new normal. I'm happy to report he's home now, but also dealing with diabetes, which was brought on by some of the meds.

Soooooooo.....that's where I've been; running between the hospital, home, caring for the pets, trying to get some painting in, and generally stressing over his progress, and my ability to juggle everything. Most days I do OK.  

Knit Night at The Lancaster Yarn Shop has been a sanity-saver, and I have a new project to show for all that time at the hospital (my first attempt at lace knitting)...

 Painting was on hold for awhile, but has now resumed with a vengeance as I try to play catch-up with both commissions and bill paying. I painted this Innkeeper's sign today, and as of typing this, it's available in the Etsy shop...

 And a few days ago I completed this Kitty Cat themed Wheel of the Year (now sold, but I am accepting orders for similar pieces)...

A huge thank-you to everyone who's been so kind through this whole process - friends and family, and also those I only know on Faceboook; artists and collectors, who've offered up prayers and sent good wishes and positive energy our way.

We're taking it one day at a time, one step at a time, and remembering that despite the challenges, we are truly blessed.

I don't expect anyone to believe this, but I WILL be back with an update sooner this time, I promise...

In the meantime, it's back to the work table, where there's a Fairy Garden sign calling my name. ;)

Much love,

P.S. On a completely unrelated subject, *LOVE WINS!!!* How awesome is that?!? ;)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cats, Cats, and more Cats....

Well, so much for my New Year's intention to keep up with the blog, eh?

No excuses, save that life has been insane lately, and I'm desperately trying to catch up on commission work, while also offering a few new goodies.

Cats have been on the work table this past week, so I thought I'd pop in and show you some. All except one yawning Tuxedo kitty have been claimed...

"Soooo Sleepy", the yawning little guy you see above is still looking for a home. I try not to think of him as too lonely sitting there in the Etsy shop, and hope he gets adopted soon. ♥

Aside from commission work, the next piece is likely to be a large one - a Wheel of the Year, also featuring cats.

In the meantime, it's lots of commission work to finish as I head off to the studio this morning. Thanks as always for visiting, and I WILL try to update more often. 

No, really. ;)


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Saint Gertrude of Nivelles

As the feast day of Saint Gertrude approaches (she shares her special day - the 17th of March - with another, more well known saint, Patrick), I once again felt inspired to paint her....

Gertrude of Nivelles was a seventh century Benedictine abbess, who is the patron of cats and gardeners, and I believe of travelers as well. She is sometimes invoked against mice too (notice the tiny mice included in the tapestry-like border).

This particular piece is a bit larger than I usually paint, and at 14" x 18", cannot be scanned, so no prints will be available. The edges are painted, leaving framing optional.

I truly agonized over her price, and in the end, reduced it quite a bit in an effort to find her a home right away. She'll be available on today's PFATT Marketplace, at 1PM eastern time, as always on a first-come basis by emailing me at

In the meantime, it's back to work for me - there's a VERY cool commission in progress, and I must finish it! ;)

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Friday, February 27, 2015

"Blessed Bee"

Hello again!

It's EHAG Emporium time tomorrow night, and this month's offering is an homage to our friends the bees - and a bit of a springtime play on the magical phrase "Blessed Be"....

 The birch wood box measures 10" x 5 1/2" x 4 1/2", and is painted in acrylics, finished with a clear, acrylic varnish, and has a little sculpted, bee skep handle. Oh, and take a peek inside - there's another little bee!

The EHAG Emporium updates as always, on the last day of the month at 9PM eastern, and this piece will be available on a first-come basis once the update goes live. 

I've already received several comments and messages from people anxious to capture this one, and while I  sooooooo wish I could paint faster and offer more, my art would lose the fine detail I'm so passionate about, and then it wouldn't be my art anymore. So thanks to everyone for the very kind words and feedback I've received on this piece, and I look forward to seeing where it will find a home!

Until next time,
♥ Carolee

Thursday, February 19, 2015

On Becoming Real

"What is REAL?" the Velveteen Rabbit asked the Skin Horse one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit .

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. But once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."
One of my fondest memories of being a young Mother was reading Margery Williams' book "The Velveteen Rabbit" to my daughter - and this was my favorite passage.

Truer words were never written. It takes a very long time to become Real; to become loved and cherished for who we are, to come to a place in our lives where what truly matters is the love we feel, the love we give, and the love we inspire. It's a journey, and if we're very, very lucky, we become.

It was such a blessing to paint this piece, and it's one of those I'm sorely tempted to keep, and to eventually pass on. But part with it I must, and trust that it will find a home where it is cherished, with someone who loves the book and the quote as much as I do, and someone who aspires as I do, to one day be Real.

The original wooden platter measures 18" in diameter, and is available in the Etsy shopUPDATE ~ SOLD.

Thanks for visiting, and I'll be back very soon with new work and/or more ramblings. ;)

♥ Carolee

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Absent Minded Artist....

...Creeps in, and hangs her head in shame....

Yes, it's been well over a  month since I've updated my poor, neglected blog here - and right after a New Year's intention (I don't do resolutions, and you can see why, lol) to be better about keeping things current here!

I hardly know where to start, so I suppose I should pick up where I last left off...

The holidays were truly wonderful, and this was the second year we spent Christmas with daughter Courtney and her beau in Philadelphia. Every time we travel into the city, I'm reminded how much I love it - such great energy, wonderful little neighborhoods, and a really marvelous mix of old and new, contemporary and historic - a really unique vibe I've never felt in other cities. We returned resolved to visit more often (although at 150k miles, were nursing the Beetle along as carefully as we possibly can, so are also limiting long distance trips!) That said, we'll definitely venture in for the Impressionist exhibit this spring/summer!

Did you click? Doesn't it sound incredible?!

Things have been as busy as ever in the studio, with progress made on both commissions and assorted other pieces. The next offering will actually be tonight, for the monthly EHAG Emporium; a couple of *magical* little wizard pieces...

 They make me smile. :)

On the home front, we've had a few challenges with John's health again, this time several skin cancer surgeries, the last of which required over 50 stitches. He's facing it as he's faced the heart issues, the lung issues and the lymphoma, with amazing perseverance and grace. I marvel at how he takes these things in stride, and it makes me want to be more stoic about my own health challenges. ;)

On still another front, I've been immersing myself in some selfish knitting (all for ME, lol), and am very pleased with the results. This "shawlette" is a recent project...

I liked it so well, I've started another in a different colorway...

With a wind chill of six degrees below zero, it's very good knitting weather!

It's also very good soup/stew weather, and our crockpot has been working overtime with healthy, nutritious, and relatively low cal recipes, like this chicken and apple stew. (It's one of John's favorites!)

So aside from a few gorgeous, but not too heavy snowfalls, that's about it for the last month's doings. I know, not very exciting, hehe. I won't promise to be back very soon, as I tend to set myself up that way - but I will try!

In the meantime, I hope everyone is staying warm and cozy, and enjoying all the blessings this beautiful Winter has to offer.

Much love and appreciation for sticking with me, even when I'm a neglectful blogger,
♥ Carolee

PS. After a few requests on Facebook for the stew recipe, here it is, courtesy of a wonderful collector friend of mine, Susan. I usually tweak the recipe a bit by added small whole onions instead of the sliced onion, extra veggies, an extra apple and a bit of chicken stock/broth to cut the sweetness of the apple cider. Enjoy!

Apple Chicken Stew

4 medium potatoes
4 medium carrots, cut 1/4"-thick slices
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1-1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 - 1/2 caraway seeds
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 large tart apple, peeled and cubed
1-1/4 Cups apple cider or juice
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
minced fresh parsley

Layer potatoes, carrots, onion and celery into crockpot. In a small bowl, combine salt, thyme, pepper, and caraway seeds. Sprinkle half over vegetables. In a skillet, saute chicken in oil just until lightly browned. Drain off drippings. Transfer chicken to slow cooker. top with cubed apple. In another small bowl, combine apple cider and vinegar. Pour over chicken and apple. Sprinkle with remaining salt mixture. Lay bay leaf on top. Cover. Cook on High 4-5 hour until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Stir before serving. Sprinkle bowls with parsley.
I have made this several times, usually adding more vegetables than called for and adding more cider as needed. The last time I made it, I used half sweet potatoes.